10 of London’s Best Bakeries
We don’t know about you, but here at UnderTheDoormat we don’t need much of an incentive to indulge in some baked goods: from crusty bread to moreish cupcakes, a trip to the bakers is always a treat! However, the start of autumn brings with it the aptly-named ‘Sourdough September’, which gives us an extra excuse to check out the best bakeries in London – here’s our official guide!
Dominique Ansel Bakery
No list of bakeries would be complete without mention of Dominique Ansel, inventor of the Cronut (a delicious croissant-doughnut hybrid) and an UnderTheDoormat favourite. Catering for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or even casual diners who just want to pop in for a decadent dessert, the Belgravia café has an option for everyone. We’re big fans of their all-day brunches: opt for a classic Eggs Benedict or avocado toast (served on homemade English muffins or sourdough, of course).
Hot on the heels of their successful café chain Fernandez and Wells comes the latest offering from Dee Rattali and Jorge Fernandez: Fortitude Bakehouse in Bloomsbury. And what an offering it is! With an extensive offering that comprises slow-fermented sweet treats (including an inventive sourdough cake) as well as artisan bread, Fortitude Bakehouse utilises wild yeasts and slow-fermented doughs to add an extra dimension of flavour to their floury provisions. Their filled sourdough buns make the perfect breakfast or lunch: delightful fillings (like barrel-aged feta and pesto) sandwiched between perfectly sour, flaky bread. Yum!
From humble beginnings, Hackney’s Violet bakery (which first appeared as a stall in nearby Broadway Market) reached new heights in 2018, when a lemon and elderflower cake made by owner Claire Ptak was the wedding cake at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s reception. Ptak has stayed close to her roots, however; continuing to pop up at Broadway Market on Saturdays, and utilising local, ‘low intervention’ produce (eggs from Suffolk; dairy from Sussex). Look out for the seasonal cupcakes – in autumn, that means warming, earthy flavours, like poached quince and roasted plum.
The Dusty Knuckle Bakery
Originally housed in a shipping container, the Dusty Knuckle Bakery can now be found inside a light, bright café in Dalston. Not only is the bakery home to some of the capital’s best sourdough (as well as rye loaves, sticky buns, apple turnovers and more), it’s also a burgeoning social enterprise: the owners have made it their mission to take on and train up young people who have struggled to find work in the past (including those who have been on the wrong side of the law). Come for the fantastic ambience; stay for the hulking sandwiches.
We couldn’t write a blog in honour of ‘Sourdough September’ without talking about Brickhouse: after all, this East Dulwich bakery has won awards for its take on these piquant loaves (receiving accolades in the Urban Food Awards, the World Bread Awards, and more). The team’s famous breads are made with organic flour and inventive flavour profiles – including a much-lauded chocolate variation. Best of all, if you’re hoping to recreate their sensational San Francisco-style sourdoughs in the comfort of your own home, Brickhouse offers a popular ‘Sourdough in a Day’ bakery class.
Little Bread Pedlar
LBP’s founders live up to their name in both senses of the word – in the beginning, they used to pedal around London on bikes, peddling their products at various food markets. As their popularity grew, they found a permanent Saturday base in Bermondsey (at Spa Terminus), though LBP’s fleet of deli bikes can still be seen whizzing around the capital. Famous both for their crusty sourdough and meltingly-moreish croissants (the Little Bread Pedlar team will only use high-quality French Lescure butter in their bakes, and it shows), visitors to their stall will also find a delicious range of different loaves, European pastries and brownies.
The cupcake craze may have faded a bit since the noughties, but there are still a handful of places producing cupcakes which warrant a journey across the capital. Primrose Bakery in Chalk Farm is one of those bakeries. Baked fresh every day, Primrose Bakery’s sweet, indulgent morsels are made in small batches to ensure tip-top quality. Choose between one of their ever-changing seasonal flavours (like Rose and Orange Blossom in spring; or Pumpkin Spice Latte in autumn) or opt for an old classic – their Carrot Cake flavour is hard to beat!
A melting pot of baked goods (as befits its multicultural Ealing neighbourhood), Tetote offers some of the most exciting flavours in London. Nominally a Japanese bakery (but with a subtle French influence due to the neighbouring community), Tetote offers something to suit every palate: from the delicately spiced kare pan to delightfully light Japanese buns and perfectly-baked French baguettes.
This charming little bakery, which can be found in the heart of Islington, specialises in interesting – and utterly delicious – pastries. Priding itself on both the amount of high-quality dairy that goes into each bake (each pastry has at least 27 layers of butter running through the dough) and the creativity of its chefs, Popham’s offers a mesmerising and mouth-watering menu. As an example, as well as chocolate, almond and plain croissants, their current menu features bacon and maple, rosemary and sea salt, and marmite, spring onion and Schlossberger cheese pastries.
So much more than just a place to buy bread, Jolene is an intriguing mix: part-bakery, part-café, part-restaurant. Whatever you’re in the market for, one thing remains the same at Jolene’s attractive warehouse premises in North London – in Newington Green, the grain reigns supreme. Utilising only 100% unaltered grains that are grown in the UK and France, which are then milled on site, Jolene’s team create some of the most flavourful bakes in the city. Of particular mention are the seasonal Danish pastries (such as current favourite, the ‘Autumn Crumble’ variant), plump sausage rolls, and delicate Madeleines.